Monday, January 31, 2011

Training Leaders

"A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher" (Luke 6:40, NIV).

On Friday evening, it was my joy to be with Carolyn O'Neal (pictured center) and Debbie Stuart (pictured right) at Midnight Madness leadership training at Houston's First Baptist Church. Both these ladies serve as Women's Ministry Directors - Carolyn at Houston's First and Debbie at Prestonwood Baptist Church in the Dallas area. Over 700 leaders gathered to be trained for church leadership positions. Debbie did the training for women (which was packed) and did an incredible job of reminding us that God is the one in whom we need to trust and listen to as we lead. Leadership training is important for everyone, regardless of how long we have been leading. I loved gleaming from Debbie as she shared truths and stories from the Word of God.

Sometimes we forget that everyone we lead doesn't know what we know. As a leader, we must continue to menter and train each one. When we look around and see things that did not happen, guess who is at fault? We are. Everything comes back to us as leaders. Join me in two commitments that I need to make: (1) continue to learn and be trained, and (2) continue to train every person. We should all be in training all the time!

May God bless you as you follow Him and as you train others to do likewise. We will be trained when we all look like Him (Luke 6:40).

Friday, January 28, 2011

"As You Go"

"Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.."  Matthew 29:19

This verse actually tells us that "as you go" make disciples.  As you all know, it is the Great Commission given to us by Jesus before He ascended into heaven.  I am hoping to make 2011 an even MORE intentional year AS I GO each day.  This may mean seizing opportunities at school with my high school students, being bolder at the grocery store with the checkers that I know, with the pharmacist with whom we know, etc.  Time is so short.  We do not know how many days we have left nor do we know how many days those around of us have left to live on this earth.

Our family just received tragic news of the death of one of our friends' daughters, Erika.  Erika was 25, was married to a military man who was serving in Korea, and had two precious daughters ages 3 months and 2 1/2.   Her car flipped due to icy roads in Ohio where she lived until she could join her husband in China for a three year assignment.  The girls survived, but she did not.  We are grieving with the family for this tremendous loss, but are reminded of the hope we have for eternal life.  That is the hope that will keep this family going.  They grieve, but not as those without hope (see I Thess. 4:13)!  This is a hope that is A ROCK!   Praise God that this young lady knew Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior.  Please be in prayer for this family!

There are accidents every day where people lose their lives who are not believers.  Let us remember that life is just a vapor and not waste any moment we have to boldly tell others about Jesus Christ and His sacrificial death to pay the penalty for our sins and reserve for us a place in heaven.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

treasure and living faith

 "Therefore I have lent him to the Lord. As long as he lives, he is lent to the Lord" (1 Samuel 1:28, ESV).  

This quote is from the story of Hannah.  She had wanted a child for a long time, but she did not have one until she was older.  Before this son came, she was mocked (verse 6) and anxious (verse 16).  She cried out to the Lord and poured her heart out to Him (Eli, the priest, sees this in verses 12-18).  

What happens is that God remembers her (verses 19-20).  At the end of it all, Hannah gives her son to the Lord (verse 20).

Verse 20 reminds me that whatever we receive from God, it is His.   A relationship with Him is our greatest treasure, on earth and in heaven.

Where do we take this?  We can take this knowledge, that God has this ability to work miracles, to heart.  We can share with others this living faith that we have because of what Christ has done for us. We can give our troubles to the Lord and trust that He is living and at work today.  I pray we show others how God is our treasure.

"Treasure" by Tree63 - link to audio play

"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Matthew 6:21, ESV).

Photo from movie National Treasure - photo link

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Great Privilege!

"Jesus, undeterred, went right ahead and gave his charge: "God authorized and commanded me to commission you: Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I'll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age." Matthew 28:18-20 (the message paraphrase)
"Then Jesus came near and said to them, "All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age." Matthew 28:18-20 (HCSB)

As "disciples" = Forever Students & Followers of The Lord, there is someone in our life that God has placed there for us to "Go and Train in God's Way of Living"!
WHO? Who are we training up in The Lord day after day after day until the end of the age, until Jesus returns?
Evangelistic discipleship is one of the JOYS of Following Jesus! The enemy DOES NOT want us to be disciples so he will put every fear, obstacle, and excuse in our minds and lives...REJECT his LIES!
God has given every believer the ability, through His Powerful Holy Spirit Presence in our lives, to "Go and Train" others!
When I became a Believer, Follower of Christ-A Disciple Maker, God put other Christians in my life to help me learn how to evangelistically "practice what He commands me to do". As we disciple others, God provides His Word for all we need. There are also some simple discipleship tools, based on God's Word, to assist us as we "Go and Train" others! I would like to share one of those simple, but powerful, tools/resource that you may like to use. This resource is a FREE downloadable New Believers Guide called HeartCall: "A New Heart" that has been written by Jaye Martin and myself to encourage and assist you in evangelistic discipleship! A New Heart can be shared with New Believers, Believers that may need to be discipled, or Believers that are looking for a New Fresh Start in the basics of the Christian Life. In order to download this free guide, please click on this link and look for "HeartCall: A New Heart":
The link above will take you to The North American Mission Board website where you will see HeartCall: A New Heart free downloadable guide.
There are also some free downloadable witnessing booklets in other languages along with a leadership HeartCall Notebook that is FULL of FREE evangelistic encouragement enrichment for everyone to be trained in The Lord and encouraged to Share Jesus with Others! We thank God for these resources that are made possible by those that GIVE to MISSIONS through "The Cooperative Program" and/or the yearly "Annie Armstrong Easter Offering"

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Who cut in on you?

"You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth?" (Galations 5:7, NIV).

I woke up this morning with this verse on my mind. I'm been thinking about it all day. There are times in my life that I am running my race with fervor, and times that I stop for the least little thing and then never get back to the main thing. In one instance, I know what happened to stop me but I have not gotten back in the race. I love that Galations asked the question of "who cut in on you?" My question is, what am I going to do about it?

This verse deals with not obeying the word of God. If God has told us to run a race, then we must keep running! If we fall, we are to get up and run again. It doesn't mean we go back to the beginning, it means that we don't just stay on the sidelines. Even when it is not easy, we must go onward to what Christ has called us to do.

I don't know what race God has called you to but I pray that you will keep running. Regardless of who cut in on you, run your race to win. The enemy comes in the form of people and feeling. Anything that has stopped us needs to be put aside.

Let's run our races to win!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Heavy Heart

"And now, O sons, listen to me, and be attentive to the words of my mouth. Let not your heart turn aside to her ways; do not stray into her paths, for many a victim has she laid low, and all her slain are a mighty throng. Her house is the way to Sheol, going down to the chambers of death" (Proverbs 7:24-27, ESV).

I tossed and turned all night. Not an unusual thing for me to do during my season of life, but this time was different. It has been a week of me talking to several women and hearing of the sin issues of many, in particular husbands. This morning, there was another who reached out from a world of darkness. Oh how I grieve for them. These women are all struggling with the addictions of husbands drawn in by the lure of porn.

My heart goes out to them - to you. Let's covenant together to pray for our husbands, fathers, sons, and brothers. Read Proverbs 7 and lift up their names before a holy God. I am praying with you.

If you find yourself alone with no one to turn to, know that God hears, sees, and knows. He is with you, He is listening. Let me suggest that you (1) keep praying, (2) establish accountability -, (3) understand the sin is not about you, (4) seek wise confidential, biblical counseling, and (5) read up on the subject (many good sermons and resources out there), and (6) stay in the word and keep your own life pure.

There are many hurting women out there who need to know that God loves them, has a plan, and is there to be their Lord and Savior, as well as their comfort. May He bring peace to you and lead you to share His love with others today.

You are loved.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Operation World

While in Indonesia last month, I was struck by the testimony of one of the Indonesian national young ladies at a prayer meeting.  She was sharing how she had been praying for the world through the use of the book Operation World for the past several years.  She felt God had put Kazakhstan on her heart for which to particularly pray.   Her passion and the intensity of what she shared challenged me as she truly had sought God's will  for her life.

Seeing the need in Indonesia for witnesses, it seemed strange that a native Indonesian would be asking God where He wanted her to serve.  But, God did indeed open a huge door for her in Kazakhstan!  She was leavivng her family, friends, job and everything she knew to be obedient to share Christ where God wanted her to go.

I have started using the resource Operation World by Jason Mandryk to truly pray for the world.  I pray that God will increase my passion to be obedient and excited about wherever and whenever He leads me to share the Gospel.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

the riches of His grace

"In him we have redemption through his blood the forgiveness of our trespasses, 
according to the riches of his grace which he lavished upon us, 
in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, 
according to his purpose, 
which he set forth in Christ"
-Ephesians 1:1,8-9 (ESV)

When I think of how God blessed us, I am in awe.  He is perfect, and yet He wants us to be a part of his family.

God is the author of our lives, and I believe He wants us to be a part of it.  I like most movies with a narrator (like George of the Jungle and The Princess Bride), since there is usually more insight into the story.  Some narrators and authors seem to focus on entertainment.  The outcomes of some stories are not always based on what is best and true, but on what amuses them.  God, though - He is full of truth and wisdom, and He wants to bring us into His family.  He sent his Son to save us from our sins, like an addiction to living for ourselves.  How can we help others know who He is?

Our holy, saving God, who is king over all things, sent his Son to save us.  He has this deep grace that can rescue us from our sins as we turn to trust in Him.  How can we share with others about this Savior, who is full of grace?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

You Are A New Creation!

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he/she is a NEW CREATION;
the old has gone, the NEW has come." 2 Corinthians 5:17
It's been said that "The Victorious Evangelistic Christian Walk is a process of Daily Renewing The Mind with the TRUTH of God's Word & Being Ready To Share His Love & Truth With Others"! Romans 12:2 says it best, "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - His good, pleasing and perfect will."
One of my favorite evangelists once said that one of the keys to walking in Victory with Jesus so that we will be ready to share Him with others is to renew our minds daily and get rid of any "defeatin thinkin"! Why is it so important to be careful about what our minds dwell on? The main reason is that the enemy tries to attack our minds daily and he wants to defeat us anyway he can so that we will not share Jesus with others; therefore, we must do what God says in 2 Corinthians 10: 4-5 "The weapons we fight with are not weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds (anything that tries to get a hold on our lives that is not from God), and WE TAKE CAPTIVE EVERY THOUGHT to make it obedient to CHRIST."! This is one huge reason why I have Promises from God's Word posted everywhere that I spend time at; my sink, my desk, my laundry room, my bedside, my bathroom counter, my car, my walls in my home and office, etc... I AM DESPERATE for GOD & HIS WORD & HIS DAILY VICTORIOUS PLANS! Maybe it is because I am a first-generation Christian, and there are many "old" messages/memories from the 22 years that I was LOST. Do you ever have negative messages/memories that try to play over and over your mind...resist & reject these messages because they are NOT from The Lord!!
Please join me as we THANK GOD daily that We Are A NEW CREATION and the old is GONE and the NEW has come!! Please join me as we THANK GOD That We Are Desperate for Jesus & His Word DAILY!
Today there may be some thoughts that may come into our minds that are NOT from The Lord; perhaps thoughts of defeat, thoughts of doubt, thoughts of discouragement...any kind of thought that DOES NOT line up with the truth of GOD'S WORD we must REJECT & TAKE CAPTIVE because it is not "New Creation Thinkin"! We must RESIST & REJECT negative thoughts and do what God says in 1 Peter 1:13 "Therefore, get your MINDS ready for action, being self-disciplined, and SET your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you from Jesus Christ." We must put on our "Helmet of Salvation AND The Sword of the Spirit, which is The Word of God" (protection for the GOOD NEWS that is in our mind)! Eph.6:17 (one HUGE reason why we must study and read God's Word DAILY~Memorize a Verse for exactly what you are going through TODAY because God's Word is ALIVE & ACTIVE to help us fight the good fight!)
"Finally, brothers/sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable , whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable-if there is moral excellence and if there is any praise - dwell on these things. Do what you have learned and received and heard in me and seen in me, and the God of Peace will be with you"!! Philippians 4:8-9
When I became a Christian one of my mentors taught me the importance of ERASE & REPLACE, how do we do that? Make a list of any "defeatin thinkin" with a PENCIL and STOP thinking that way as you take the ERASER on your pencil and GET RID OF EACH DEFEATING WORD that is on the list! After we ERASE the things that God does not want us to dwell on, FILL your paper (REPLACE), computer screen, chalkboard, places in your home/office, and most of all our MINDS with God's Word/Messages/Testimonies because You are a NEW CREATION, the OLD is GONE the NEW has COME...DAILY! AMEN!!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Unsaved Husbands

"Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct" (1 Peter 3:1-2, ESV).

Often I am asked what wives can do to witness or share Christ with their husbands. It can be frustrating when a wife comes to know the Lord and her husband wants no part of her new life. He usually wants his old wife back. It can be quite a challenge to live out faith before those you are closer to.

The verses that I share are found in 1 Peter 3:1-2. Simply put, these verses lay out a plan for women. (1) Be subject to your husband - even if they don't know the Lord, (2) win them over without a word, (3) be respectful, and (4) have pure conduct. It sounds so easy. As wives, we are still under the authority of our husbands. God puts them there to provide and to protect us. We are to live out our faith by being loving, respectful, and not pushing them with our words. Once we have told them of our faith, the rest involves living it out. We must remain close to Jesus in order to do this. Having time to read the Word, study it, meditate on it, and to pray is essential. We are to remain pure and to see to be holy before the Lord.

Today, if you find yourself married to one who doesn't know Christ, I am praying for you. I may not know who you are but God knows. May He give you the grace to love Him enough to be able to follow your husband and live in such a way that he will come to know the Lord.

By the way, for not unequally yoked. God doesn't want your dating life to be a mission trip. Gracefully bow out of the relationship and continue to pray. God has a plan for you...but it is not with someone who is not saved. I'm praying for you too. :)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Counting the Cost

My husband and I went to Indonesia in December to visit a couple of his former students who are missionaries in West Indonesia and for him to teach at a seminary in East Indonesia while I shared with the women there.   

We found Indonesia to be as dark spiritually as we thought it would be, but I was struck by the joy of the Indonesian Christians that we met.  They truly knew and experienced the grace and joy of knowing Christ.  However, they also truly knew and counted the cost of following Christ. 

The first question they are asked after receiving Christ is:  "Will you profess your faith by being baptized?"  and the second question is:  "Are you willing to die for your faith?"  Those who are witnessing don't pull any punches or try to soften the commitment of living for Christ.  Thinking about asking those two questions probably had as much impact on me as anything else.  I wonder how many of us would so joyfully receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior if those were the first questions that were asked of us? 

How often do we try to water the gospel down in order to make it "easier" to make converts?  This challenges me to be much bolder in sharing my faith and to share Jesus must be our Savior AND Lord!

Thursday, January 13, 2011


"And immediately he proclaimed Jesus in the synagogues, saying, 'He is the Son of God'" (Acts 9:20, ESV).

A friend I grew up with was known for reminding others to "keep it simple."  I thought it was funny, but now I see how valuable simplicity can be.  Even as I clean around my house, it's less stressful for me to clean sections at a time, rather than think about cleaning everything at once. 

I think we can share God's story with simplicity.  The above verse is about Saul (also known as Paul). The time comes after he was saved and healed (Acts 9:1-19). He told others that Jesus was God. I think he said more, but his simple statement stood out to me.

More explanation of God may be needed, but we can begin telling others about Him by explaining a truth of who God is.  Explaining in a simple way can give time for us to listen to the person that we are speaking with.  They may ask questions, like the Jews did in verse 21.  How can we share about our Savior with simplicity?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

God Wins!

God Wins Spiritual Wars, but my dear Christian friends, as His witnesses we ARE going to be in one spiritual battle after another...until Jesus returns! Today's picture is a picture of my mother and her brother (my 66 year old uncle) as I share with you one of the testimonies from their lives and mine!!

God shares specifically throughout His Word, "His Battle Plans for Believers", some key marching orders that we need to study and live out in order to be prepared to take our stand against the tactics and schemes of the devil! One reason that I am so excited about Gifted2Go is that Ephesians 6 is apart of this vital tool for women on the front lines that are sharing Jesus with others!

"Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by His vast strength. Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the Devil. For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. This is why you must take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand." Ephesians 6:10-12 HCSB

(The specific verses listed above, some of the verses that Gifted2Go are based on, gave me the battle plan that I needed as God strengthened me, clothed me with His armor so I could stand in against the enemies tactics, and equipped me with everything I would need to be prepared to stand for Him in Victory!)

Today I would like to share a personal testimony about a HUGE spiritual battle I was in and how GOD WON THE SPIRITUAL WAR when my mother went to be with the Lord after a very quick sudden death from cancer that was found after gall-bladder surgery. You must remember, as I have shared in previous blogs, that I am a first-generation Christian!! When I became a believer and follower of Jesus I began to witness to my immediate family the SPIRITUAL BATTLE began and much of this battle looked & felt like this: rejection, fear, emotional pain, nothing in common anymore, loneliness, burdened, brokenhearted, misunderstandings, and much more that every witness walks through as we battle "spiritual forces & evil tactics of the devil"! The exciting part of this testimony is what God does after every spiritual war, even if it takes YEARS...GOD BRINGS THE VICTORY...after every Spiritual battle we fight as His witness He brings THE may not come about like we would like or the way that is the easiest, but the results are ALWAYS just like the cheer goes... V-I-C-T-O-R-Y...victory victory is our cry!!! It is my joy to share with you that after many battles and many tears, I had the privilege of leading and witnessing my mother come to the Lord on 2/15/92!! PRAISE YOUR NAME JESUS=VICTORY!!!! After many many years of fighting the enemy through love & prayer...GOD WON THE SPIRITUAL WAR!

Fast forward to April 3rd, mother went to be with the Lord and at her memorial service I knew that she wanted me to share her testimony and that is what I did, by the Grace of God, but it was after much warfare because the entire room was full of extended family members and her friends that NEEDED TO BE SAVED!!!

The battle was intense the days before her memorial service, the day of her memorial service, and even today-the days after her memorial service and the battle looks like this from those that surrounded me that still need Jesus: distance, rejection, anger, accusations, lies, judgement, withholding of love, the lost & backslidden medicating their pain/grief with alcohol, darkness, confusion, the enemy actually trying to cut me off from my praying friends through lack of the ability to communicate by cellphone & computer networks that were down, so much more it would take an entire chapter to forward to the memorial service where GOD brought His VICTORY...God led us to an anointed pastor & his wife, Brother Tony Lynn, through one of our praying friends in Michigan, Julie Scheving (Julie is a State Women's Evangelism leader in Michigan and she has recently had a stroke-one week after my mother's memorial service, please pray for Julie as the Lord keeps healing her) My mom had recently relocated to Toledo Ohio/Erie Michigan area to be closer to her younger brother, my Uncle Larry (and one of the biggest hearts desires my mother had was that my Uncle Larry would accept Jesus as his Savior) my mother's memorial service was being planned, the Lord laid it on my heart specific worship songs to be played (one of them can be heard at the bottom of this blog) and specific words to share as I opened up my mother's Bible and shared specifically from what she had written in Brother Tony offered an invitation to accept Jesus at the end of my mother's memorial service. As Bro. Tony led everyone in an invitation to accept Jesus prayer, word for word, seated behind me my 66 year old Uncle Larry ACCEPTED JESUS AS HIS PERSONAL LORD & SAVIOR!!!!! All I could do was cry out to God with Persevering PRAISE and visualize my mother in heaven having one of the greatest prayers and desires of her heart answered by God through her death and her testimony being shared after MANY spiritual Battles...GOD WON THE WAR!!!!VICTORY VICTORY that's the Christian Battle CRY!!!!!!! The picture above is a picture of my dear SAVED 66 year old Uncle Larry pictured with my mother that is now rejoicing in Heaven for ONE dear soul that has been saved through her TESTimony!! I pray this blog and one of the worship songs that the Lord led me to share at my mother's memorial service will encourage you in the battle you may be in or may be about to enter...let us all remember that there is always VICTORY in JESUS!!
(I Will Rise by Chris Tomlin)

Who is on your prayer list that you are trusting God to bring SPIRITUAL VICTORY in their lives? NEVER GIVE UP!! Let's stop right now and PRAY for those in our lives that NEED JESUS as GOD SENDS HIS MESSAGE in WORDS & ACTIONS to point them all one step closer TO THE CROSS! IN JESUS' NAME..AMEN!!!!!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Women at Southern: A Walk Through Psalms, January 10 by Stevi Smith

I thought it might be fun for you to see today's devotional from Women at Southern: A Walk Through Psalms. It was written by Stevi Smith. All proceeds from the sale go to support scholarships for women. You can get your copy by dropping by the LifeWay store on the campus of Southern Seminary or simply call 5-2-897-4506 and have them send it to you. Cost is $25,

January 10

Background passage: Psalm 7:12-17

Focal verse: “If anyone does not repent, God will sharpen His sword; He has strung His bow and made it ready” (Psalm 7:12).

I am teaching my daughter and students about choices. On January 10, 1988, I made the most important choice of my life. I chose to repent, surrender my life to Christ, and live as He desires. Although that was the most important choice in my life, it was not the last. I make choices everyday, just like my daughter and students.

Now that I have repented and surrendered my life to Christ, I must daily choose to put on the armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-20). Some days it can be challenging to be different from the world around me. David writes of the disillusionment of the sin around us; it conceives trouble, deceit, lying, and manipulation. Sin doesn’t have a big red sign flashing over it. Sin often looks good and appears exciting.

Christ has called Christians not to conform to the sin of this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of their mind (Romans 12:2). What choices will we make today? If you have not chosen to give your life to Christ, please choose that today! If you have, will you renew your mind with thanksgiving and singing just as David did (v. 17)?

Lord, Thank You for reigning. Please lead me in each choice I make. May I always be glorifying to You! Amen.

Stevi Smith

Friday, January 7, 2011

The Land of Beginning Again

As we begin a new year, I am reminded of the poem by Louisa Fletcher Tarkington, titled "The Land of Beginning Again." She wrote in one stanza:

I wish there were some wonderful place
Called the Land of Beginning Again,
Where all our mistakes and all our heartaches
And all our selfish grief
Could be dropped like a shabby old coat at the door,
And never be put on again.

Carl Bruin, a Christian poet, wrote an additional stanza to the poem:

I have found in the Book, that wonderful place,
Called the Land of Beginning Again,
Where the sins of the past are remembered no more
And the years, locust-eaten, the Lord doth restore.
All our filthy rags changed for a garment of grace,
And the soul is begotten again!
Oh, I've found, yes, I've found, that wonderful place
Called the Land of Beginning Again.

What a wonderful truth with which to begin a new year! God is a God of grace, and the beginning of a new year is a great opportunity to "forget what lies behind, and reach forward to what lies ahead" (Philippians 3:13).

Thursday, January 6, 2011

where do you run?

"The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing."
-Zephaniah 3:17, ESV

Making new goals for the year really makes me sit and think. In reflecting on the past year, I can see how I need some "rehab" in areas of my life. Someone once told me that if computers were just repaired, then we would not have to buy new ones every few years. I do not know much about computers, but I do believe that God does not wish to throw us out, and He has the unique ability to "repair" us.

It baffles me how God is not only is pure and just, but also forgiving. In Zephaniah, I see how God is just. In chapter 3, verse 17, we can see how God has this joyful love for us. He:
  • is with us
  • saves us
  • takes delight in us
So, God, ruler over all, loves us. He wants us to know Him, follow Him, rest in Him.

Where will we run this year?  How can we help others see how He loves?

Some songs, with links to, that stand out to me:
  • "Tremble" by Nichole Nordeman – "Face down on the floor/Do I dare to take the liberty to stare at you?/Oh, let me/Oh, let me not forget to tremble."
  • "What a Miracle" by David Crowder Band – "O King of Kings/Our Sacred Joy/What a miracle/You come for all."
  • "Okay" by Flyleaf – "It's too important for us to forget/...God will hear and save/God will hear and save us."

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

♥JESUS 2011♥

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future..." Jeremiah 29:11

God has great plans for you and I for 2011 as we live each and every day to Know CHRIST and to Share CHRIST! This is the most wonderful new hope and new future that we could ever pray for as our New Year of 2011 unfolds!

One of the best questions we can ask ourselves and one of the best focuses we can pray for is to be sensitive to "who needs us to share Jesus Christ & His Love with them today?"!! Many are going to accept JESUS in 2011! Just thinking about those that are going to come to know Jesus as their Lord causes my heart to PRAISE JESUS!! This worship song inspires me as I think about the day that I came to Jesus as a first generation Christian hearing about Christ for the very first time and ACCEPTING Him as MY LORD & MY SAVIOR (RUNNING TO JESUS!!) when I was in my 20's (Come To Jesus by Chris Rice)!

Let's make a JESUS 2011 list of names right now, that includes those that we have been trusting the Lord for already (maybe for YEARS!) as we NEVER GIVE UP & keep praying and looking for opportunities to share our Jesus with others because People Need The Lord (People Need The Lord by Steve Greene)!

Let's fill our 2011 Calendar with Jesus & His Gifted2Go Purposes! Please know that someone is praying for you as you share your faith with others, you are not alone! Let's Give Them Jesus in 2011 (Give Me Jesus by Jeremy Camp)!

Monday, January 3, 2011

are you empty?

“See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ” (Colossians 2:8, ESV).

Empty. defines empty as "containing nothing; having none of the usual or appropriate contents: an empty bottle." Empty is void. To be empty means that something is missing. Isn't it interesting that a life can be so full...yet empty?

What does life without Christ (darkness) look like? How can one's life be full of things, yet never full of the one right thing- Jesus Christ? I don't think we talk enough about what it means to be lost.

Yesterday, we had lunch with our friends, Lisa and Bill. Lisa lost one eye to cancer 20 years ago. They have just removed invasive cancer from her other eye, yet were able to preserve the sight this time. In order for the eye to heal, Lisa's eye is stitched closed which means she will be blind for 6 weeks. We watched in amazement as she manueved things at church and lunch...all with a great attitude. She had to be led through the obstacle course of halls full of people, the restaurant at lunch, and trying to find food on her fork (carefully placed there by her husband). She has to depend on others for everything because she is in darkness. What we can see, she can't see. Oh, we take so much for granted.

That's how it is with someone who has an empty life. They can't see the obvious answers, the obstacle course in front of them, and can't even see the food on the plate. Their lives are full of things but those things have no meaning. They need someone to interpret them, they need someone to show them the way. They need someone to help them know what a full and meaningful life with Christ looks like.

This year, let's talk about what it means to be lost. And let's commit to helping those with empty lives to fill them with the right thing - the love of Jesus Christ. Let's be gifted2go!

Will you join me?


Saturday, January 1, 2011

Women at Southern devotional book

Women at Southern: A Walk Through Psalms, would be a great devotional book for 2011. There were 409 women who graciously wrote a devotional, testimony, or some words of wisdom. What an incredible undertaking it was! I am so proud of our women.

I pray that you will order your copy or go by the LifeWay bookstore on the SBTS campus in Louisville and get yours. Please buy a few extras to give as gifts. All proceeds go into a scholarship fund for women. I can't think of a better way to support the work of the Lord than to give to help women who want to be trained to make a difference.

Order your copy:
Women at Southern: A Walk Through Psalms
ISBN 978-0-9840657-0-7, $25
LifeWay Christian Bookstore, Southern Seminary campus

502-987-4506 or

Thank you to Connie Jenkins who gave to underwrite the devotional so that all proceeds could go for scholarships! 

Happy New Year to you!